From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8–This is the concluding book in a trilogy that chronicles the black experience in America. Rappaport draws on songs, poems, memories, letters, court testimony, and first-person accounts to provide a moving portrayal of the experiences of African Americans from the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott to the Voting Rights Act in July 1965. The book introduces little-known as well as famous figures and incidents in a way that is fresh and informative. One example is the story of Mose Wright, who testified in the Emmett Till murder case–a black man who had never spoken up against a white man, but is determined to tell the truth today. Evans's earth-toned oil paintings enhance the stories with images that are by turns poignant, sad, hurtful, resigned, determined, hopeful, and triumphant. In a concluding artist's note, Evans eloquently states: ...as you read the words and gaze at the images in this 'ourstory,' put yourselves in the shoes of these people who fought and loved so hard, for they are all of us. A wonderful resource to enhance curriculum units on African-American history.–Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
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Gr. 4-7. The last of the trilogy that includes No More!
(2002) and Free at Last!
(2004), this stirring picture book draws on first-person accounts from famous leaders of the civil rights movement as well as testimonies of unsung heroes. The brutality is evident--in horrific memories of segregation and the violence of hate groups. But there are also triumphant stories, some in Rappaport's present-tense narrative, about Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and many more. Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership role and his famous "I have a dream" speech are celebrated, but Malcolm X gets little attention. Whereas most histories of this period are illustrated with famous documentary photos, this one features dramatic oil paintings, which show close up the courage of young people confronting hatred at sit-ins, on freedom rides, and behind bars. A detailed chronology, source notes, and a bibliography will connect readers with the many other fine biographies and histories of this period, such as Ellen Levine's Freedom's Children
(1992) and Diane McWhorter's A Dream of Freedom
(2004). Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved